Happiness 101

Top ten e-mailed New York Times stories at 7 a.m., PST, today:

1. Appreciations: Mr. Noodle [about the death of the inventor of ramen instant noodles];

2. Happiness 101 [about a class at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, which, by using psychological building blocks, teaches students the difference between feeling good and doing good];

3. Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying [obvious];

4. Hot Stuff [all about those cool silicon kitchen tools, like pot holders and squishy, reusable cupcake cups];

5. Agency Affirms Human Influence on Climate [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the Bush White House says “unequivocally” that a buildup of greenhouse gases is helping warm the climate. Really?? Whoulda thunk it??];

6. The Breakfast Wars [Starbucks’ new breakfast sandwich or McMuffin? You decide];

7. Apple Introduces Innovative Cellphone [Steve Jobs unveils the new iPhone, which does everything but babysit at only about $450 per phone,but it won’t be on the market until June. Sure, I’ve got the throwaway cash for that];

8. Fitness: When It’s OK to Run Hurt [orthopedist says exercise is good even if you’re hurt. Sometimes.];

9. State of the Art: Apple Waves It’s Wand at the Phone [more iPhone. Woohoo.];

10. S.M.U. Faculty Complains About Bush Library [Can’t blame them]

At 6 p.m. PST last night, George W. Bush appeared on TV to tell America that, in spite of its strong antipathy for his vanity war in Iraq, he’s going to escalate it. Again. He might as well have flipped America the bird, because in reality, that’s what he did.

Instead of “listening to his constituents,” like he told us just last month he always does, he listened to no one but those in his inner circle who agreed with him. In fact, while he told us he was working hard, coming up with a “new way forward” in Iraq (this took nearly three months), he was lying through his teeth. Again.

George W. Bush already had a plan to escalate and prolong his war long enough to see him out of office in 2009. It’s already underway. According to ABC News, 90 advance troops from the 82d Airborne Division arrived in Baghdad yesterday, before he gave his speech. Eight hundred more are expected to arrive there today.

Five additional brigades, or about 16,000 soldiers, will descend into the hellish meatgrinder of Iraq between now and April. He said nothing of what happens if this latest “change” in tactics doesn’t work. There are no timetables, no milestones, no benchmarks. America’s occupation forces in Iraq are there indefinitely.

George W. Bush isn’t going to bring our troops home, no way no-how. Doing that would be admitting that he lost his vanity war. That he misjudged. That he blew it. That he’s responsible for the injury, maiming and deaths of thousands and thousands of people, Americans and Iraqis alike. Him. Dubya. Alone.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably one of the few Americans who’ve taken the time and effort to understand what Bush and his administration have done to America, her Constitution, the rights of her citizens, and her standing in the world since he was gifted by a stunningly partisan Supreme Court with the presidency in 2000. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably as dismayed and disgusted as I am over this latest “fuck off” from the President of the United States to the people of his country – and to the world.

But it appears that many Americans haven’t even noticed. The most interesting news to them today is Mr. Noodle’s passing and Apple’s whiz-bang iPhone.

Oh — and how to be happy. America is so screwed.

Photo hugs to W. R.


4 Responses to “Happiness 101”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    I just checked the online headline at CNN. Guess what is on the top of their news:
    Soccer superstar David Beckham has agreed to a five-year deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, leaving the Real Madrid club at which he enjoyed worldwide popularity. “I look forward to the new challenge of growing the world’s most popular game in a country that is as passionate about its sport as my own,” Beckham said in a statement.

    We are screwed, if this is news.

  2. Spc. Freeman Says:

    Screwed indeed. O Canada…

  3. Wil Robinson Says:

    Here in Japan one channel each morning shows top news stories from news channels around the world, including from Japan. So far this morning I’ve seen the following news outlets:

    BBC – top story? inflation in Britain.

    CNN – top story? who knows. I usually tune out when CNN comes on, I’m so disgusted with it.

    Japan NHK – Bush’s speech, new strategy, etc. they had a nice piece where they showed different clips from Bush speeches starting with the speech in May 2003 “mission accomplished,” and worked their way through until yesterday, mixing in clips of soldiers getting attacked, roadside bombs, etc.

    China news – no idea what they were saying, but top story was Iraq and recent visit by Israel Prime minister Olmert.

    South Korea – North Korea and their crazy leader. OK, so this one wasn’t talking about Iraq, but can you blame them with someone like Kim Jong Il living next door?

    France – Bush’s “surge” of troops

    Germany – Something about a 9/11 conspirator they sentenced. Not sure, don’t speak German (not that I speak any of these, but some are translated.)

    Thailand – recent bombings, coup. Okay, they have their own problems.

    Russian – talking about Putin turning off the gas line to Europe.

    So is there some reason that the two countries that ACTUALLY have troops in Iraq aren’t paying that much attention?

  4. Madison Guy Says:

    So screwed indeed. Was the U.S. attack Iranian consulate in northern Iraq, seizing personnel and computers, the beginning of the undeclared war against Iran? Isn’t attacking a diplomatic mission something that’s usually considered, um, an act of war? Really, would you buy a used war from this man? Maybe you don’t have to buy a used war, after all. Maybe we’ll get a shiny new one with Iran instead. Maybe Iraq was just a detour, or a test drive. No wonder Bush looked scared. Time to brush up on impeachment.

    Like your blog. Came across a link at Chumps of Choice. Am still pondering my own volume of AtD, preparatory to reading it: À votre santé, Pynchon.

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